Construction firm praised for £500,000 school project

A CONSTRUCTION firm has been praised for helping to create a ‘renewed sense of pride’ in a school which has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment and extension project.

Chester-le-Street-based Northern Construction Solutions (NCS) received letters of commendation from Newcastle City Council’s head of architectural services and the headteacher of Hotspur Primary School, in Heaton, where the NCS team has been working on the 16 week project. 

The firm won the job as part of Newcastle City Council’s new General Building Maintenance Framework after working on a previous framework for the authority for the last four years.

The work, which included creating learning pods and IT facilities, transforming an internal courtyard with an eye-catching glazed lantern roof and a new entrance foyer and reception area, was carried out partly while the children were at school.

Miles Wallis-Clarke, Hotspur’s headteacher, wrote: “People have been blown away by the creative use of space, the increased areas for learning, the use of natural lighting and the quality of finish throughout the build. There is a renewed sense of pride in our school and a determination to look after it.

“Everyone communicated well and coped with the constraints of a functioning school alongside a building site.”

Stuart Turnbull, head of architectural services at Newcastle City Council, who passed on the letter to NCS, wrote: “I am writing to personally thank you and your team for your contribution to what was clearly a very successful project.

“It always gives me a great deal of pleasure when receiving a letter like this, knowing that our organisations have made such a difference to someone that they felt moved to write in and say so.”

Sean Anderson, a director at the construction firm, said: “It’s always nice to get good feedback from clients and, in this case, to know that all the children, the headteacher and his staff are delighted with their new school.

“We invest a great deal of time in both our clients and the construction process to ensure everyone is happy and it’s great that we’ve been recognised for those qualities.”

The new framework is expected to run for another three years and will entail more schools and public buildings being made watertight and fit for use under the Schools Planned Works Programme and Good Stewardships and Access Public Buildings Programme.

NCS, which celebrated its 10th birthday last year, was selected following a detailed pre qualification and a rigorous tender process.

Pic cap one: Hotspur Primary School’s new reception area

Pic cap two: Hotspur Primary’s deputy headteacher Annie Walker receives a bouquet of flowers from Peter Reek, NCS’s site manager

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